Tax Evasion: Tribunal orders Speciality Drilling fluids to pay Bayelsa govt N288m


By a unanimous verdict, the South-South Zone of the Tax Appeal Tribunal sitting in Benin has ordered Specialty Drilling Fluids to pay Bayelsa State Board of Internal Revenue the sum of N288,000,000.00 (Two Hundred and Eighty-Eight Million Naira only) with immediate effect.

The sum, the tribunal said, represents assessed tax liability for three years—2019 to 2021—in accordance with the relevant tax legislations.

The tribunal headed by Hon. Prof. Obehi Odiase-Alegimenlen gave the verdict in an appeal lodged by Bayelsa State Board of Internal Revenue against Specialty Drilling Fluids.

Delivering its judgment in the appeal, the tribunal unanimously held that if a tax payer did not file its Return to the Tax Authority as required or refuses to furnish the Tax Authority with available documents as requested, the Tax Authority has the power to resort to a best of judgement assessment.

The Tribunal stated that the statutory window given to Speciality Drilling Fluids to respond to the Demand Notice has elapsed long before the company eventually responded and is statute barred and the Assessment done by the Bayelsa State Board of Internal Revenue has become Final and Conclusive.

The fact of the case is that the Appellant- Bayelsa State Board of Internal Revenue being dissatisfied with the Speciality Drilling Fluids’ failure and refusal to file and pay the revised assessed tax liability in the sum of N288,000,000.00 (Two Hundred and Eighty-Eight Million Naira only) in respect of PAYE and Bayelsa State Infrastructural Maintenance Levy, appealed to the Tax Appeal Tribunal, South-South Zone.

The appeal was anchored on the claim that such assessment being unremitted taxes inclusive of penalties and interest for the years 2019-2021 tax years has become a debt owed by the firm to the Bayelsa State Government

The Bayelsa State Board of Internal Revenue argued that Speciality Drilling Fluids had failed, refused and/or neglected to pay the assessed liabilities despite letters of notifications, demand notices, letters of invitation and report of administrative assessment based on back duty investigation.

The Internal Revenue sought amongst others for a declaration that the failure, refusal and/or neglect of the firm to file tax returns and/or pay its tax as at when due, amounts to tax evasion punishable under section 94 of the Personal Income Tax Act (as amended).

The tribunal moved in favour of Bayeksa government and ordered the company to pay the assessed sim.


Share your story or advertise with us: Whatsapp: +2348179614306 Email:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here